A CAFE adored by residents is closing its doors for the final time next week after ten years of success – pointing the finger at rising costs and energy bills.

Peggy’s Cafe, a family-run cafe in Church Road, has confirmed it will close after a decade of trading in Benfleet, sparking an outpouring of sadness from residents.

Bosses admitted the business is “no longer viable” due to increased bills and rising rents.

Owner, Vikki Hazell, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we will be closing our doors next week after ten years trading.

“With increased rents and bills and reduced footfall, it is just not viable anymore. I had no choice.

“It is always hard to let go of something you have poured your life into for such a long time.

“I am particularly upset for some of our customers and group who genuinely use Peggy’s as a support place too.

“I would like to thank everyone who has support us over the years, it has been an absolute amazing time, and I have met some truly wonderful people.”

Peggy’s Cafe specialises in coffee, homemade bakes, light bites, and breakfasts.

They also do catering for events outside the cafe too.

Alongside running the cafe, owner Vikki has also helped provide lunches for children over half-terms to support families struggling – which was recognised by Manchester United star, Marcus Rashford.

Despite closing the doors of the cafe, the business will continue to operate in a slightly different form.

Vikki says they will be taking out elements of the business which are still successful – the catering and grazing tables – and carry the company on at a remote location as Peggy’s Catering and Balloons.

She added: “We have decided to take out the elements of the business which are proving very successful catering and balloons.

“Any current bookings are still absolutely secured, and we will be working from the cafe until the license is approved for catering at our new premises.

“We hope to continue supporting the community as we have done in the past but under the new name of Peggy’s Catering and Balloons.

“The same staff that have been with me for years will be continuing on our journey, and so we hope customer continue to support us in our venture.”